We first met Daniella and her family in 2018, shortly after she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Our office was struck with her always positive attitude, and how this precocious preteen took great care of her newborn baby sister.
With regards to her scoliosis, Daniella’s x-rays showed she had a 35 degree thoracic curve. Her orthopedic surgeon explained to her family that because she was only 11 years old and premenarch, she unfortunately was a high risk of progression. Her Risser Model predictor indicated a 96% chance of progression. He immediately prescribed a Rigo Cheneau brace and Schroth therapy, to attempt to halt the scoliosis progression.
Like most kids, hearing this news and seeing her x-ray for the first time triggered a range of emotions, from shock to sadness to worry. At her initial appointment with Coastal P&O, we tried our best to alleviate her concerns. We showed her examples of kids in similar circumstances with successful results. We also explained to her how a Rigo Cheneau brace helps her spine, especially when used in conjunction with Schroth therapy. Like we do with all our patients, we emphasized how the brace needs to be worn compliantly to be effective, and we would help with making the brace as comfortable as possible.
Daniella took in all this information, and was committed to doing all she could to avoid surgery. She started by wearing her brace 16-20 hours per day, and doing her Schroth exercises regularly. Her initial in-brace x-ray also provided more motivation as her curve was reduced by 80%.
A year later, Daniella had received some good news about her scoliosis. Not only had the curve progression been halted, it actually reduced to 20 degrees! Daniella had also outgrown her initial brace, and was fitted for her second brace. This time being more comfortable with the idea of wearing a brace, she chose to put a butterfly design on her brace, which she was super excited to show off.
It’s now 2 years later and Daniella has blossomed into a beautiful teenager. We literally have watched her grow up, as she’s grown over 7 inches in height since starting her bracing program. She has also maintained her commitment to doing all she could to combat her scoliosis. She’s been complaint with wearing her brace full time, even counting the hours every day to make sure she doesn’t fall short. Her out-of-brace x-rays over the past year show her curve has stabilized in the low 20 degree range. She’s now a risser 4 and will soon be able to transition to wearing the brace while sleeping only.
Daniella’s latest x-rays show her curve has reduced by 40% since she was initially diagnosed over 3 years ago. While this isn’t expected or even possible in all cases, it does show the possibilities when a patient’s growth is combined with great bracing and regular Schroth therapy. We’re so proud of Daniella for all her hard work and commitment, and couldn’t be happier with the results.